The Wonders of iMag and Video Assist…

The Wonders of I-Mag.

It can be a wonderful blessing to have a video camera blow up the action that is taking place on stage, but there are a few points I would like to make.

1       The only point for video support is to supply close-up shots of the action, important props, selected cards, facial expressions etc. If the video is just a long shot then it does very little good. In fact in my opinion it can do harm, as the audience’s attention is split between the live action and the screen(s) and you have split the focal point of your audience.

2       The best way to improve the quality of your video assistance is to write a short, clear and simple script for the videographer. Let him know what you are going to do and when the close ups will be most useful. It is also important to make clear note if ant particular effects need to be shot from specific directions.3       If there is more than one camera involved, find out which one is going to be used for the close-up shots, and play the appropriate action to that camera. Play it just a little slower than you would if there were no cameras present, because he needs time to focus.

4       Try and work from the center of the stage and twist your body from side to side to display the props/action to the live audience. If you keep striding around from one side of the stage you will find the camera misses your actions and it looks bad on screen—which is where most people will be watching.

These last two points can best be acted upon by imagining you are performing on a live TV show. You are playing to the camera, which is relaying your actions to the crowd. Concentrate on making eye contact with the live audience and then occasionally really blasting the camera with your eye contact.

5       Sometimes this video assist is projected without a copy ever being made. However if it is recorded make sure that you request that they make a dub for you. This could be your next promotional video waiting to happen. Usually, if it is a corporate event, they will keep a copy for their records, though it isn’t always easy to get your own copy, but give it a try. It is usually the case that they edit the cameras on the spot for use during the live event. However, you can always request that they run ‘iso’ on the cameras, and that way you will get footage from all the cameras shooting plus the line edit. Offer to pay for any additional cost.

It is always useful (actually, almost essential) to get some audience reaction shots in order to edit your promo tape later. A few friendly words (and sometimes a $100 bill!) can work wonders in obtaining co-operation. You might just end up with a three thousand dollar video shoot almost for free!

These are just a few basic but important things to think about when endeavoring to get the maxim benefits from the application of video to your magic. In a future article we will address the issue of performing magic especially for the camera.

~ by Nick Lewin on October 22, 2017.

2 Responses to “The Wonders of iMag and Video Assist…”

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us! They are always well thought out and very helpful!

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